Boatwif Blog

0

Bumbling and Bumping along the Cam

Ely to Cambridge: 17¼ miles, 2 locks From Ely to Pope’s Corner (from where a left junction takes boaters onto the River Cam) is roughly 4 miles, and from there on it’s a further 12 miles to Cambridge. Cleddau began her gentle pootle out of Ely on a clear bright morning.    There were Dutch barges to pass    and modern road bridges to pass under. On a hot day the Captain adopted parasol mode     – and wondered why...

2

Sailing towards the Ship of the Fens

Brandon Creek to Ely: 22¼ miles, 0 locks Maybe this map will help explain the various waterways mentioned in recent posts… The last blog post finished at a mooring site half way along Brandon Creek (alternative name for the Little Ouse).     It was blissfully quiet, apart from the wind in the treetops and the persistent cuckoo. The cows that had strolled by early evening had gazed dolefully at the boat and its crew and then moved on. This is...

5

The Drains, the Great Ouse and the would-be record breakers…

March – Salter’s Lode – Denver – Brandon Creek: 36½ miles, 2 locks Cleddau left March on Tuesday morning, ahead of the weed killer boat that had been lurking under the bridge, its crew ready to spray….  Out past old cottages, new infills, pretty river frontage gardens, out past kayaks on stands    and garden sheds, out past new townhouses    and a long hedge being carefully trimmed. In scenery that was predominantly green, white and blue occasional red poppies ...

0

Passing through Peterborough

Peterborough to March,15¾ miles, 2 locks Three nights were spent moored at the Embankment at Peterborough. There are far more attractive riverside mooring sites (just think of the River Avon at Stratford or Ely on the Great Ouse) but Peterborough was a pleasant place to restock supplies and to sit out what was predicted to be (and was!) a very wet day on Sunday. You can see the Cathedral from the river;   it taking about 12 minutes to walk...

0

Much waving…

Oundle to Peterborough: 26¼ miles, 11 locks The River Nene passes Oundle in a wide loop. It took 1 hour and 25 minutes from leaving Oundle Marina to reaching Oundle Wharf within sight of the Waitrose supermarket.       (Here in 2018 a lesson was learned that an affluent area does not necessarily have a taxi service… For explanation, see here). It was 2 miles further on at Cotterstock Lock that a two man crew of an Environment Agency open...

2

Notes from the Nene

Northampton to Oundle: 35½ miles, 26 locks From Northampton Cleddau was on the River Nene, pronounced Nen to rhyme with hen on the upper stretches, but Neen to rhyme with sheen from Thrapston to where it flows into the Wash beyond Wisbech. There are three sources of water supply that converge to form the Nene at Northampton. Water levels on this river can rise quickly; nowadays navigation out of Northampton is via the Washlands    and through a barrage gate. ...

0

Crossing off the junctions…

Norton Junction – Gayton Junction – Northampton Junction: 17.16 miles, 24 locks At Norton Junction there was a swing south onto the Grand Union main line. In this area, over the centuries, transport planners have made use of Watford Gap, a low-lying area between two hills. There was a Roman route here, much of which is today’s A5, trains flash past on the West Coast Main Line and there’s the M1. (Who has NOT heard of Watford Gap Service Station…!)...

0

Familiar names in unexpected places

Foxton Top to Norton Junction: 26 miles, 9 locks, 3 tunnels Up Foxton Locks, the coal removed from the front deck and the chimney swept all in one day – that had been a really successful day! This was still rural Leicestershire. The cabin top and gunwales were sprinkled with white confetti (aka hawthorn blossom).    Seen shortly after departure on Wednesday morning was a work party of five fellows on a contractor’s work boat.    The men appeared to...

0

 For the sake of a loaf of bread…

Kilby Bridge (via Market Harborough) to Foxton Top: 21 miles, 17 locks, 4 swing bridges,1 tunnel Sunday morning. With the boat serviced and ready to go from Kilby Bridge, 8 miles south of Leicester, were the crew ready? The previous day’s locking partner was expecting wet weather too. Then a decision was made, Cleddau would go for it, solo.  “If you can get up to Bridge 80 there’s a pretty little church to see,” was advice received from several folk...

0

Leicester

Friars Mill, Leicester to Kilby Bridge : 8½ miles, 12 locks By the time the Cleddau crew reached Leicester they were sorely in need of a day off …! The boat was safely tied up beneath the Unite the Union regional offices at Friars Mill Business Centre.  Behind it is student accommodation and a corner shop stocked with items for a student life. Within about a ten minute walk the city centre had been reached. Scaffolding surrounds Leicester Cathedral which...